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South Yarra Dental Group

Oral Health

Health Mouth & Health Body

Taking good care of your mouth — teeth and gums — does more than help ensure you have a bright, white smile.

A healthy mouth and healthy body go hand in hand. Good oral hygiene and oral health can improve your overall health, reducing the risk of serious disease and perhaps even preserving your memory in your golden years. The phrase “healthy mouth, healthy you” really is true — and backed by growing scientific evidence.

It’s never too early to start teaching your children to take care of their teeth and gums: Healthy habits learned in childhood can pay off in adulthood. And, if you’re tempted to shrug off your good oral hygiene habits — brushing, flossing, rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash, and seeing your dentist regularly — remember that you’re a role model for your kids. Keep in mind these six ways that healthy teeth and gums boost overall health.

Boosts Your Self-esteem and Confidence

Decayed teeth and gum disease are often associated not only with an unsightly mouth but very bad breath — so bad it can affect your confidence, self-image, and self-esteem. With a healthy mouth that’s free of gum disease and cavities, your quality of life is also bound to be better — you can eat properly, sleep better, and concentrate with no aching teeth or mouth infections to distract you.

May Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Chronic inflammation from gum disease has been associated with the development of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease, blockages of blood vessels, and strokes. Experts stop short of saying there is a cause-and-effect between gum disease and these other serious health problems, but the link has shown up in numerous studies. The findings of these studies may suggest that maintaining oral health can help protect overall health.

Preserves Your Memory

Adults with gingivitis (swollen, bleeding gums) performed worse on tests of memory and other cognitive skills than did those with healthier gums and mouths according the latest research. Those with gingivitis were more likely to perform poorly on two tests: delayed verbal recall and subtraction — both skills used in everyday life. Using an antibacterial mouthwash or toothpaste can help reduce bacteria in the mouth that can cause gingivitis.

Reduces Risks of Infection and Inflammation in Your Body

Poor oral health has been linked with the development of infection in other parts of the body. Research has found an association between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints. Experts say the mechanism of the destruction of connective tissues in both gum disease and RA is similar. Eating a balanced diet, seeing your dentist regularly, and good oral hygiene helps reduce your risks of tooth decay and gum disease. Make sure you brush twice a day and floss and use an antiseptic mouthwash once a day.

Helps Keep Blood Sugar Stable if You Have Diabetes

People with uncontrolled diabetes often have gum disease. Having diabetes can make you less able to fight off infection, including gum infections that can lead to serious gum disease. And some experts have found that if you have diabetes, you are more likely to develop more severe gum problems than someone without diabetes. That, in turn, may make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels.Reducing your risk of gingivitis by protecting your oral health may help with blood sugar control if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Helps Pregnant Women Carry a Baby to Term

Women may experience increased gingivitis during pregnancy. Some research suggests a relationship between gum disease and preterm, low-birthweight infants. Not all studies have found a solid link, but maintaining good oral health is still the best goal. If you’re pregnant, visit your dentist as part of your prenatal care. Consider it good practice for the role modeling that lies ahead for all new parents.

Water Fluoridation

Water fluoridation is the topping up of the levels of naturally occurring fluoride in the water to strengthen teeth against tooth decay. Fluorides are minerals found very commonly in the earth’s crust and in all water supplies. American scientists in the 1930s found that people living in towns with higher levels of fluoride in the water experienced less tooth decay than people living in areas with much lower levels of fluoride. Community water fluoridation began in America in 1945 and spread rapidly once its effectiveness against tooth decay became obvious.

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Air Abrasion

Pain Management – Air Abrasion

Ask most people about the number one thing they hate about visits to the dentist and they’ll answer, ‘the drill!’ Just the sound alone is enough to send shivers down the spine of even the bravest souls! Modern advances in anaesthesia make the drill a relatively painless experience, but for those who really can’t stand it, there is an alternative called air abrasion. Also called microabrasion, air abrasion works in a similar manner to the sandblasters used to clean graffiti off walls.

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Technology in the Dental Surgery

Air Abrasion
Ask most people about the number one thing they hate about visits to the dentist and they’ll answer, ‘the drill!’ Just the sound alone is enough to send shivers down the spine of even the bravest souls! Modern advances in anaesthesia make the drill a relatively painless experience, but for those who really can’t stand it, there is an alternative called air abrasion. Also called microabrasion, air abrasion works in a similar manner to the sandblasters used to clean graffiti off walls.

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Oral Health and Your Heart

Researchers have found links between mouth infections and diseases in other parts of the body. In particular, a link has been found between gum disease and heart disease. In fact, research suggests that gum disease may be a more serious risk factor for heart disease than hypertension, smoking, high cholesterol, gender and age.

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Oral Tobacco

Smoking has a terrible effect on all aspects of your health. The Australian Dental Association has long been a leader in the battle against tobacco-related disease, working tirelessly to educate the public about the dangers of tobacco use. The ADA also encourages their dentists to help their patients break the cycle of addiction. The ADA has continually strengthened and updated its tobacco policies as new scientific information has become available.

Oral Piercing

So you’ve thought about it a lot and you’ve decide that you really want to pierce your tongue? Well, we dentists advise against this practice but if you absolutely must do it, you should do your homework. Regulations vary in each state, so use caution when deciding to go ahead with any kind of body piercing. The risk of blood-borne illnesses like HIV and Hepatitis B is ever-present. Particular risks associated with oral piercing are pain, swelling, infection, drooling, taste loss, scarring, chipped teeth and tooth loss. Make sure that you get your piercing done in a reputable establishment. Ask the person performing the piercing about post-piercing care, cleanliness, possible side-effects, and other concerns you may have.

Age and Oral Health

Unfortunately, ageing will affect your teeth along with the rest of your body. Teeth are supposed to last a lifetime, but they will only do so if you have put sufficient time and care into their upkeep. Interestingly, changes in oral health can be a key symptom of some adult-onset diseases like Type II diabetes.

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Mouthguards

Parents know how easily active children can damage themselves. A well-fitting mouthguard can save a lot of pain and money. Mouthguards are certainly not just for outdoor sports. When winter sets in, parents usually find that in order to cure their kids’ ‘cabin fever’, they must involve them in indoor activities like gymnastics, soccer, volleyball, and roller-skating.

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Sealants

Research has shown that almost everybody has a 95 percent chance of eventually experiencing cavities in the pits and grooves of their teeth. Sealants were developed in the 1950s and first became available commercially in the early 1970s. Sealants work by filling in the crevasses on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. This shuts out food particles that could get caught in the teeth and cause cavities.

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